Jan 08, 2024

Top 25 Summer Products for Happy Toddlers

We hope you love our recommendations! Some may have been sent as samples, but all were independently selected by our editors. Just FYI, BuzzFeed collects a share of sales and/or other compensation from the links on this page.

No matter how hot, sticky, buggy, or sunny it gets, here's how to ensure your little ones (and you) have the most summer fun possible.

BuzzFeed Contributor

And finally, a Bug Bite Thing suction tool that sucks insect venom or saliva from under the skin, cutting down on all that itching and swelling (and eventual scratching that little hands can't help but do). Mosquitoes, you've met your match.

A 10-piece beach sand toy set so every trip to the beach (or to the backyard sandbox) becomes a master class in silicon dioxide architectural engineering.

A bottle of oil-based, non-irritating, DEET-free kids' natural insect repellent to keep the bitiest of bugs away all summer long. Won't ruin clothes, either!

Started using the Coppertone Kids Roll-On sunscreen this summer on my toddler, and it is so clutch. It's hard enough to get a kid to sit still in order to slather them from head to toe in sunscreen. You're always bound to miss some spots (and guess what, the summer sun never misses). This sunscreen rolls on with a pale blue color, so you know exactly what areas you've covered (or missed). Rub it gently into the skin, and that blue hue disappears. Also great for touch-ups and reapplying on the run. And the best part? Your hands don't get all greasy like they would with liquid sunscreen.

Get it from Amazon for $9.29.

Promising review: "If you’re looking for fun children’s activities or gifts, this pack of sidewalk chalk is the perfect thing! Got these for my kids, and they love it. My 4-year-old loves using it to write out the alphabet, and my 2-year-old doodles around. The colors are pretty, and the kids love them, so it’s a win! Also love how it comes in a small container with a lid. So my little ones can carry the chalk around and can clean it up all in one go! Great buy." —sharbearc

"I love these. The packaging is very attractive. The moment my toddler saw it, she knew it was for her and got excited. The sizes are perfect. Truly Jumbo." —Rashell Bean

Get it from Amazon for $9.99 (available in three color styles).

Promising review: "I absolutely love these water shoes for my toddler; they are perfect and super flexible, and we wear them for other occasions besides just going to the beach. Another thing I love about these shoes is their grip on the bottom. If we go to the pool and my child is running around, I don't have to worry about slipping and falling. These shoes are seriously perfect for summer, both regular wear such as to parks and grocery stores as well as water activities, and they stay on!" —Hazel

Get it from Amazon for $5.97+ (available in 18 sizes and 12 styles).

Promising reviews: "I love this kit. I bought it because I wanted to have something small in the new apt I moved in with my 2-year-old in case something happens. You know toddlers, there is always something happening. 😂😂 I also love that it's portable, so perfect to take with us when we travel also." —Maryam

Get it from Amazon for $13.88.

Promising review: "The smell is great! Now, you might think that doesn't matter, but when you are trying to wrestle your toddler to apply things like bug spray and sunscreen, you need all the help you can get. We recommend it all the time!" —A. Thatcher

"Bought this for a camping trip where we had a toddler and three 8-year-olds who ran in and out our tent leaving it, of course, open and let me tell you, I sprayed these kids up (neck, ankles, and arms) and had no bites all trip; even on myself! Definitely will be recommending!" —Justine Heads

Get it from Amazon for $9.69.

Bonus: Comes with a water- and sandproof pouch for keeping electronic devices and other valuables safe, dry, and undamaged.

Promising review: "Love this bag! I use this for the pool for my toddler and me, and it's great. It's super roomy, and the inside is lined for all the wet stuff. Lots of pockets and zipper areas throughout too. I love the rope handles and print. Fits towels, clothes, and gear all at once with room to spare. Love this bag!" —pinkadidas178

Get it from Amazon for $29.99+ (available in nine colors).

Promising review: "My 2- and 4-year-old played with this for 1.5 hours uninterrupted. They only stopped the first time because I suggested a break for a snack. It was very sturdy and easy to inflate. I hope it remains durable for years." —Sarah R.

"Other than the kids trying to get on the unicorn to ride it, it was a huge hit! Inflated easily with a blow-up bed electric pump. Appreciated that it came with stakes and an extra hose attachment. Sprayed well and was worth the money!" —Brittany Utz

Get it from Amazon for $33.99+ (available in two sizes).

Promising review: "There are few things in today's ever-changing society that you try once and make you never go back to the 'old way' of doing it again. This is one of them. Follow the directions given, and you will have a bunch of well-filled balloons ready for fun times in under 60 seconds. Can you fill them up faster? Probably. But just do as the packaging says and take your time; you won't be disappointed." —Mr. H

Get it from Amazon for $34.99.

Promising review: "We bought these for my toddler, and she absolutely loved them. She can fill them herself. Before long, all the neighbor’s kids were over here playing too. They ranged from ages 3-12. Huge hit! Buying them as gifts for all the kids this year!" —PG

Get it from Amazon for $16.99+ (available in six different pack sizes).

Promising review: "Charge it overnight, and it lasts long enough for us to enjoy the outdoors with our toddler. It attaches and holds well to strollers, but we also just stood it up on a table like a tripod. The light on it comes in handy when we get home late. More light on his car seat to help unstrap my toddler." —Melissa

Get it from Amazon for $92.99 (available in three colors).

Promising review: "This tent has been awesome for our beach trips, and it withstands the strong winds! My toddler naps while we are at the beach, and there is enough room for me to fully sit in the shade with her! There are folding instructions in the carrying bag that are easy to follow with pictures. The tent is lightweight and easy to set up! I was highly recommended!" —Benito Frias

Get it from Amazon for $35.99+ (available in two colors).

Includes three disposable bags with absorbent pads and a travel bag.

Promising review: "This is perfect for families on the go. I keep it in the back of the van; it’s a lifesaver. When toddlers have to go, they really have to go! I don’t know how many times on road trips were in the middle of nowhere with no stops in sight, and my toddler has to pee! I kept pull-ups in the van for that, but they always leak! I’m glad I saw this travel toilet because it’s much better than using a pull-up. So I pull over, open the back of the van, set this thing up, and I keep a blanket in the back to hold up for privacy. When they’re all done, I simply throw the bag away! So easy and prevents potty accidents. I foresee we’ll be using this for beach trips, parks, etc. This is a must-have!" —M. Flowers

Get it from Amazon for $20.99 (available in two colors).

Promising review: "My toddler loved playing with these toys during her very first trip to the beach this summer. She quickly caught on to the castle-building concept and used the molds to make shapes and castles over and over (and over!) again, with our help, of course (she's only 2)." —Robin

Get it from Amazon for $169.99+ (available in two sizes).

Promising review: "I've bought two of these so far as my kid has gotten older and will likely continue to buy a new one annually. My toddler wears his every day to the beach; no sunburns yet! The zipper is essential — it makes it so easy to take it on and off when wet. The fit is fairly true to size, but you may as well size up so it'll fit for longer (you can always roll up the sleeves). I've also tried hooded sun shirts but have found the hood to be too much trouble when wet; this version paired with a sun hat and some sun leggings is a good compromise." —Tulip

Get it from Amazon for $24.99 (available in 21 sizes and 21 colors and patterns).

Promising review: "I’ve used this several times. My kids love Popsicles, so I opt to make ice pops at home when I can. The funnel is nice, but I can pour in the liquid just fine without making a mess, so I don’t use it much. I like that it comes with plastic handles, but I choose to use the sticks because my toddlers would throw the handle in the garbage after they’re done, lol. The cover will securely hold the sticks in place, so there is no need to partially freeze before putting them in. The plastic bags are awesome; that way, once they’re frozen, you can take them out of the mold and save space in your freezer or make another batch. The frozen ice pops easily pop out of the mold; no need to leave them out or submerge them in water. Overall I’m very pleased with this product." —Ahlam

Get it from Amazon for $18.99+ (available in three colors).

Promising review: "Runs a bit big. If your toddler is between ages, you can go with the bigger size and cinch it, or you can go with the actual size, and it'll fit just right. My toddler loves the dinosaurs and has no problem wearing them. I ordered 2 of these patterns, just different colors, and we use them when we go out." —ams

"Bought these for my kids for our Hawaii trip. Been using them ever since. Great quality! Awesome facial coverage for extra UV protection for my little ones! They're comfortable. And come with an adjustable strap to ensure it won't fall off in the wind. And the pattern is an extra cute bonus! Would definitely repurchase!" —Kaity Miller

Get it from Amazon for $6.99+ (available in four sizes and 26 patterns and colors).

Promising review: "These glasses have survived Disneyland and Zoo trips for two active toddlers. They fit better than other glasses I have purchased for them. The glasses are durable while still being fashionable. My daughter asked to wear them daily, rain or shine, as well as inside and outside." —Eric M Fischer

"With four young kids (all 6 and under) and living in an extremely sunny state, having quality sunglasses on hand is very important. We actually have nine pairs of these sunglasses, and they are incredible. My kids are rough on them, and they have yet to break in any way. I would absolutely recommend these." —Kindle Customer

Get it from Amazon for $14.99+ (available in six different color combinations).

Promising review: "My toddler did not complain or try to take them off. They lasted through two swim courses, about two months. Good stretch and very durable, no complaints. Comfy too!" —Emilia

"I purchased this swim cap for my 3-year-old daughter. I was looking for something to protect her hair from the weekly exposure to chlorine from her swim lessons. The swim cap fits well over her thick curly hair; it doesn’t snag, pull or tug on her hair and slips on very easily. The only trouble is if I pull it down all the way, it covers her ears, and she has trouble hearing her swim instructor. We just flip the area near her ears up and secure it with her goggle strap, which seems to work. The quality of the material is great! I expect we will have this for years to come. I have been swimming for years, and the quality of Speedo products is very consistent across products. I am very pleased with this purchase!" —AW

Get it from Amazon for $11.96+ (available in three colors).

Promising review: "Lots of fun for all ages! Adults and toddlers both! My 2- and 4- year-old found this game very easy and exciting as well did my husband and myself. It is Exciting, silly, and keeps you on the edge of your seat for when you will get splashed!" —Molly Apitius

This was by far one of the best purchases I've made fr my grandkids' outdoor water play. They are all familiar with and love the game Crocodile Dentist. They had a great time with this sprinkler version of the game. The kids range in age from 3–14, and every one of them had fun taking turns pushing down a tooth wondering if the mouth would snap shut and they would get sprayed." —Deborah L. Stewart

Get it from Amazon for $11.46.

Promising review: "I used these quite a few times last summer for my two toddlers. My youngest was a little smaller than the recommended weight, but it still fits her. They are adjustable, so they should fit them for a while. It makes me feel a little safer when we wade in our nearby creek when the water is high, and has helped my older toddler to be more independent in the pool." —Jana S.

Get it from Amazon for $22.99+ (available in 11 color/design options).

For ages 3+

Promising review: "This is a fun little item! Gave as a gift to a toddler, and he enjoyed throwing the ball and the sound it made pulling the ball off of the Velcro paddle. It is bright and colorful and cute." —jillmarie3

"I purchased a set for my son, and he really seems to enjoy it. The colors are vibrant, it's a fun toy to take to the park, and it's a great early tool to teach him how to run around and catch. It's well worth the purchase price. The material is good quality, the Velcro holds, and the balls are all intact. I did have an issue with the stitching coming apart in the middle for two of the four paddles. It felt as though the more I used it, the more loose the stitching became. However, it was a problem that was easily remedied by the excellent customer service. I was able to explain my problem with the loose stitching, and they were quick to find a solution to my problem and send me a new set at no additional costs." —Jack T

Get it from Amazon for $16.99+ (available in four packs of paddles and balls).

Promising review: "Absolutely easy to inflate, easy to clean up, deflate and fold, and was a blast on the very hot days over the July 4th weekend! Our kids (toddlers) were able to swim back and forth, which was great! Plenty of room for kids and a few adults. Would definitely buy it again, but it's very sturdy, so don't plan on having to do so any time soon! Cheers!" —Jonathan W.

Get it from Amazon for $89.98.

Sand not included.

Promising reviews: "My very active toddler absolutely LOVES this sandbox. Great for digging, imaginative play, and building. Used one fifty-pound bag of sand, and it filled it the perfect amount. Easy to put the cover on and take off, great size for play without taking up too much space." —Courtney

"My son loves this sandbox more than any other he’s owned. It’s not big, so it’s easy for us to have outside of our apartment, and the lid makes it stay protected from rain." —Boymom of 4

Get it from Amazon for $72.99.

Promising review: "I bought this for my two-year-old since she loves to be outside and just loves to jump in general, and we love it! I would recommend buying a bigger size if you have older or bigger kids. This one is perfect for my daughter and one adult on at a time. I wouldn’t recommend more than two older/bigger children at one time due to the size of the trampoline and safety." —Megan Beck

Get it from Amazon for $119.98+ (available in four sizes and three colors).

Note: Some reviewers caution that the suction can be too much for a toddler, so tread lightly when using.

Promising review: "Finally got to use it on myself and my toddler after we got bit by ants a bunch of times. Used it within minutes, held it for 20 seconds on each bite as directed. At first, I could see purplish rings from all the suction, but they went away fast, and so did the bites. A couple of hours later: not even a bite mark on my kid. My bite is a little trickier since it's on top of the ankle, but not as bad as it would have been (I'm extremely sensitive to ant bites, they bother me for days). Will buy one for all of my extended family members." —Maria

"I have used this so many times. If you have toddlers, this is a must-have! I hate using bug repellent on my littles, and if you have kids, you know they will scratch that mosquito bite til it’s raw and bleeding. This little thing will take the itch out of any bite and pretty much makes it disappear!" —Kristina P.

Get it from Amazon for $9.95 (available in seven colors).

Reviews have been edited for length and/or clarity.